Friday, February 1, 2008

The Water Carrier

Ricki has been learning in several different subjects things connected to history, how life once was, and the industrial revolution. (Now we are reaping the benefit of historical sites we visited last summer.) In one subject, she had to write a sentence or two about any one of several pictures. She chose the picture of a water carrier. Then she proceeded to write the clearest, most grammatically correct sentences she ever has. She wrote:

“The water carrier goes with water in his buckets to sell . He goes to the faucet at the neighbors (to fill them)”.

I felt so sorry for her: two great sentences, which were of course not usable!

This illustrates so well the difficulty we have in teaching the mentally challenged. It is necessary to teach them EVERY single facet of a new subject; no osmosis can be assumed. For example, if you are teaching a child to button a shirt, that task itself is not enough. They also need to know that if a button is loose, or fallen, the shirt must be exchanged for another. They need to know what to do with this one. (He also needs to handle a situation in which the shirt is torn or stained.) They need to know to check their appearance, and what type of shirt is appropriate for which occasion, and which weather. They need to know where one can get dressed, and where this is not appropriate. There are many, many facets to putting on a shirt.
So we need to go to the well of knowledge, and draw… and draw… and pull up more, and more!

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